When you finally arrive in your new home and are surrounded by piles of boxes and disconnected appliances, it's tough to know what to do first. Surely, you need to unpack everything and do a lot of organizing, but you don't want to get so engrossed in these tasks that you neglect other important post-move endeavors. Here are six essential steps to take (in addition to unpacking) following your move.
Check over your items.
Most moving companies will allow you to make an insurance claim for lost or damaged items within a certain time period after your move. So, look over the larger and more expensive items to make sure everything is there and in the same condition as it was before your move. If you notice any damage or are having trouble locating something, contact your local moving professionals and explain the situation to them. Look over your moving contract before you call so you have a clear idea of how you can expect to be compensated.
Change your mailing address.
If you didn't already talk to the U.S. Postal Service before you moved, now is the time to do it. Usually, it's easiest to head over to the post office in person so you can have any questions you may have addressed on the spot. You'll need to fill out a specific change of address form to ensure all of your mail is forwarded to you from your old address. If you don't know where your new post office is, you can do this online, but keep in mind that you'll then have to call the postal service if you have any questions or concerns -- and the lines can get busy!
Register your car.
Whether your moving company transported your car for you or you moved it yourself, if you crossed state lines in your move, you need to re-register it in your new state (and also change your driver's license over to the new state). Laws vary by state, so at least head to the DMV during your first few days in your new home and get an idea of the process you'll have to follow so you're prepared to take the right steps once things settle down. You can use an online DMV location tool to find the DMV closest to you.
Find the main water and gas shutoff valves.
Everyone hopes they never have to deal with a water or gas leak, but even with brand new plumbing and gas systems, leaks are possible. One of the first things you need to do when you arrive in your new home is locate the main water and gas shutoff valves. This way, if there is a leak, you can turn the water or gas off immediately instead of wasting time looking for the proper valves.
Call utility companies.
If you have not already called the utility companies to change service over to your name, do so now. You don't want to end up in a battle with the old owners or renters several months down the road when they find out they paid for your utilities for the first few days or weeks you lived in the new home. In most cases, you'll need to call about electricity, gas and water, though in some areas, electricity and gas are provided by the same company and billed together.
Take some time to unwind.
The process of unpacking, adapting to a new job, and decorating your new home is not going to be simple or short. You just endured several weeks of moving mayhem already, so give yourself a break before you proceed. Take an afternoon to enjoy a movie in a local theater, take a walk around your new town, or try out an interesting restaurant in the area. All of your unpacking and other moving-related tasks will still be there waiting when you're done, and you'll be in a better mindset to approach them properly.